What Preparations Do I Need Pre-Epilation?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2019
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Pre-epilation preparations depend, in part, on the epilation method that you or a beauty professional will be using to remove your unwanted hair. In general, pre-epilation strategies should include making sure that your skin is clean and dry prior to hair removal, as this will assist in hastening the process and reducing pain regardless of the epilation method that you use. If you plan to wax or sugar your body or facial hair, be sure to discontinue the use of certain acne treatment drugs or skin care treatments, such as retinol, to prevent damage to your skin. If your skin is very sensitive, you may wish to apply a topical ointment that can slightly numb the skin as part of your pre-epilation routine.

Epilation is a form of hair removal that removes hair from beneath the skin’s surface and includes plucking, waxing and threading. If you plan to undergo a hair removal process at a spa or salon, ask the aesthetician who will be performing the procedure for pre-epilation tips and guidelines. If you plan to perform the hair removal at home and are using commercial waxes, sugars, or waxing strips, read the instructions supplied with these products carefully, as they can offer helpful information and may include information about situations in which waxing your skin may be contraindicated, particularly if you are using products that may affect the sensitivity of your skin.


Many hair removal experts recommend pre-epilation preparation of your skin so as to increase the effectiveness of the hair removal method as well as reduce any discomfort. It's a good idea to both clean and exfoliate the area of your body from which you plan to remove hair. A hot shower can go a long way to ensuring that your hair and skin are primed for epilation. After drying the area with a fresh, clean towel, you may wish to dust it with some powder so as to remove any last traces of oil. If you are using wax or a mechanical epilator to remove hair, ensuring that your skin is completely dry and that your hair is standing up and away from your skin’s surface helps to reduce pain caused by the wax or epilator grabbing or pinching the skin.

In some areas, it is possible to purchase a pre-epilation numbing cream. These creams may contain a topical aesthetic that can help reduce the pain of epilation. The cream can be applied to the area prior to hair removal, and while they don’t eliminate all discomfort, they can help make the pain manageable for many people, particularly those undergoing hair removal in sensitive areas of the body.


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